My less than 30 hours in NYC!

Last week, when I was in New York City, it was sunny, around 40 degrees and now it’s 20 degrees colder with several inches of snow!

My first order of business when I arrived in New York City (after checking into my hotel) was going to the MoMA. I was lucky that the Hilton Midtown was across the street from the museum, so I was able to catch the last viewing of the Matisse exhibit for the day. Admission was also half off since the museum was only open another hour.  10390376_715946974842_217226768375760163_n Photos are not allowed but I snuck two of some of my favorite pieces, the Swimming Pool and10944935_715944629542_763894378902133763_n the Parakeet and the Mermaid10341963_716461508712_3031427850729619656_n Here’s the full version (not taken by me). tumblr_mijmxo5bW71s65wtxo1_500 It was found on tumblr. After the Matisse exhibit, I had just enough time to quickly walk through the main exhibits and even see a few pieces I recognized like the Andrew Wyeth.  10361972_715947079632_2550683230632992641_n 10383082_715946999792_3093841456895237848_n The gift stores were full of fun stuff and I picked up a few magnets of my favorite pieces including the Horse, the Rider and the Clown!  CRI_109616

Mr. F’s cousin Bethany, just moved to New York and we met up for a fantastic dinner the night I arrived in town. 10155938_716048206972_673747613635060677_n My friend Mohit had suggested Gotham Bar and Grill 10930517_716048192002_1009989143483989242_n and we loved it. Of course, we made sure to get the famous chocolate cake and the tuna tartare was absolutely delicious too. The cocktails were phenomenal too.

10933800_716048496392_7444697114012904956_nAfter my Thursday morning meetings, I met Bethany in her neighborhood and we took the subway to Chelsea Market and the High Line.10941018_716048631122_7689257121443882195_n We grabbed an iced tea in the market and wandered back into the sun. 10373957_716048930522_4793012681952195641_n It was a gorgeous day to walk along the High Line. 10940609_716048975432_7299807679003604906_n10931542_716049165052_4051182685837563237_n For a late lunch, early dinner, we went to the Spotted Pig10896837_716049654072_1752301784200339595_n This was our favorite suggestion of Mohit’s. 268542_716049424532_119392837978244809_n The interior was as charming as the exterior with adorable pig decorations and tiny tables. 10931237_716049444492_4546101551063709452_n10422418_716049524332_1909354474384181145_nWe loved our cocktails,10428657_716049459462_353576927942619566_nthe deviled eggs, 10584037_716049564252_4622421064092975651_n and the huge burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries. 10544419_716049584212_7010878477925346287_n We demolished it together after our long walk! 10942639_716050028322_3259444329423928195_n There was a beautiful sunset as I left Manhattan as a perfect ending to a great work trip.

Plans for New York City tomorrow!

Walking through a crowd
The village is aglow
Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats
Under coats
Everybody here wanted something more
Searching for a sound we hadn’t heard before
And it said

Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York

It’s a new soundtrack I could dance to this beat, beat


I’m such a planner and I’m so excited for my trip to NYC tomorrow. When I arrive tomorrow afternoon, I’ll check into my hotel in Midtown and if I still have an hour or more before closing (5:30pm), I’ll go to the MoMA. There are timed viewings for the Matisse cut-outs as late as 4:30pm.  14730a90aba170bc9ab43d200a7936af(Photo on my Pinterest, NYC things to do and the NY Times) Otherwise, I may have time to go Thursday afternoon before going to the airport in the evening.

Later Wednesday night, I made dinner reservations with my cousin, Bethany! She just moved to NYC recently, so it will be fun to walk around her new neighborhood, Greenwich Village. I’m told the chocolate cake at Gotham Bar and Grill is a must! the-gotham-cake_medium (Photo on my Pinterest, NYC things to do and found on their website) The restaurant is also highly rated by Zagat 2015!

Best American Restaurant in NYC, #1
Best Restaurant in Greenwich Village, #1
Best Bar Dining in NYC, #1
Best Place to Take your Parents, #1
Best Restaurants in NYC, #4

After my morning meetings on Thursday, I plan to walk through the Southern end of Central Park to Bar Boulud. They have an amazing prix frix menu that has pate, cavatelli and lemon curd. I cannot wait! 8f46a047b1d86019c46f2c5d2aea7c3d(Photo on my Pinterest, NYC things to do)

If I had more time, I would love to take a Strala class (ideally with Tara Stiles) or a class at Yoga to the People. I’d also love to walk around more of Lower Manhattan and visit Brooklyn, but as I’m pressed for time, I will be very happy to fit all my extra minutes in at the MoMA and parts of Central Park.

When I was last in NYC, in 2004, I had just flown back from Italy with my college friend. We stayed on the floor of her sister’s dental school dorm room,379c59404dc47b654985af16ea79fb1bwent to Bobby Flay’s resturant,18a90eb7eddc82c2f9656e5548d1aaa8saw the Phantom of the Opera (thanks to my awesome Auntie Pura)1005230e998764600b27220d38e204aaand walked from the Upper West Side to the Southern most tip of Manhattan. It was a blast, but we were exhausted especially from the time zone difference!


This time will be much more concentrated but I plan to make this work trip fun, too!

I’m going to NYC for work! What shall I do?

I’m so excited to go to NYC for work! I haven’t been there in 10 years. While I’ll only be there a little over 24 hours, I have lots of ideas.

I’m hoping to meet up with an old childhood friend, perhaps go to the MoMA since it’s close to my hotel. The MoMA has a Matisse Cutouts exhibit that looks amazing! main_fit_300 I’ll have a little time in the afternoons, so if it’s still light out and not too cold, I’d love to visit the High Line or Central Park.

I have an awesome list of restaurant suggestions from a friend who loves food as much as I do.

Drink: Death & Co, PDT, Pegu Club,  Mayahuel

  • Jean George – 3 Michelin Star and amazing! $38 for 2 courses (not enough food so you will need to add more courses). It’s $20 for each additional. If you’d like to go cheaper, attached to Jean Georges is his more casual restaurant called Nougatine. They do a significantly cheaper tasting menu as well as a la carte. You may have to eat late at both of these. [Bonus: this is within walking distance of my hotel!]
  • Del Posto: Mario Batali restaurant which is really good (and really expensive for dinner) has a $39 3 course lunch. 
  • Babbo: Started serving lunch very recently. I’ve eaten dinner here a number of times and love it. $50 for a 4 courses. 
  • Gotham Bar and Grill: $30 threee course tasting menu. Really famous for their tuna tartare and their chocolate cake. 
If you’re just looking for something to grab and go and not sit down: Mamoun’s Falafel (they had this on Gossip Girl), Kathi Roll Company (Indian burritos that are delicious and super cheap).
You could also go to Eately (it’s a giant Italian market + restaurant that is really delicious). 
  • David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar or Noodle Bar. Noodle bar doesn’t take reservations and there will be a wait. Ssam does take reservations and will be more expensive. Neither of these are really pricy though. Momofuku Ko is is flagship where he does tasting menus. You could also do Ssam Bar for lunch. He’s known for the famous “duck lunch”
  • Spotted Pig: Michelin starred bar. Best deviled eggs I’ve ever had. Also a great burger. Pretty casual and they have fun drinks. I saw Matthew Broderick there once. 
  • Gramercy Tavern: Great food. Good for both lunch and dinner. 
  • DBGB: Daniel Boulud’s burger bar. It’s casual and delicious. Bar Boulud is pretty great too. More expensive though. 

I’d love to get a Cronut but I don’t think I’ll get up at 5:30am to stand in line at Dominique Ansel Bakery. However, “February Cronut™: Cherry Cherry – Cherry Blossom Ganache and Sour Cherry Gelee (with citrus sugar)” does look phenomenol. 10931444_974240395939087_2985404499422547390_n (photo from the Dominique Ansel Bakery page on FacebookThe Pre-Orders are even full until February 1st.

I’m staying in Midtown and would appreciate any ideas before I go next week!

Warning for Alaska Airlines travelers: don’t order the Tom Douglas special

The Tom Douglas Alaska Airlines entree was a severe disappointment. I had been looking forward to ordering it since I first read about it on over a month ago. imageI neglected to take a picture of what it actually looks like because I was so uninspired. The dish was bland, there were very few pieces of cubed, brownish pieces of meat and even the blacked chili barely tasted like much. There were no beans seen in the chili but a few chucks of tomato.

As I handed my barely eaten bowl back to the flight attendant, I warned her it was quite full and she asked what I thought of it. I hesitated and she said, ‘that’s okay I’ve yet to hear of anyone liking it.’ We both agreed that we expected more from Tom Douglas and that he should be embarrassed to have his name on it. We love his food otherwise. The kind flight attendant offered me a fruit and cheese plate instead, no charge and I was instantly happier. She even recommended I write up a review of Tom Douglas’ Brisket Chili.

In short, don’t waste your $8. The potatoes are the biggest portion of the bowl and that’s not what you’re expecting or want. The rest of the dish is a bland mixture of cheese, tomatoes and a few pieces of beef, a bean or two, topped with a blackened chili that barely registers as a mild spice. I think I’ll continue skipping airplane food unless I’m starving.

Pinterest wedding ideas for my little sister

10885600_10152470735266020_7818462084792515861_n Back in October, at my cousin Kiki’s wedding, TK told me he was going to propose to KT! He popped the question on a ferry boat, the week before Thanksgiving.

Now that my youngest sister is engaged, I really have to hold myself back from wanting to help plan, and overwhelming her with ideas. I’m a Type A planner and for the last several years, I have made several wedding pinboards with my sisters in mind. I love weddings and planning sooo much!!!

If KT and TK decide to get married in Seattle, I think they would love to have the ceremony on the water, like Golden Gardens, Daybreak Star or perhaps Rosario on Orcas: 75b78d04e99e9d230b47efdc22157081

Or in downtown Seattle, at Pike Place Market a1733997343e329e406140fea064e1eb or Sodo Park:e93b4889fe55d2b97e16b9ae806ad4df

Or perhaps on one of the family farms:

I think a sailing theme would be great for KT and TK: 27ad5c33990e8fb13e4ca0a0d94d4c6f

Obviously, I’m not the one getting married but I still can’t help being so excited for my little sis!

Just for fun, here’s my pinboard of Favorite Wedding Photos that all couple should try to have:


Keep checking the pinboards because I keep finding new cool pictures to add! All photos can be found on my Pinterest boards with their original links.

Favorite photos from 2014

It’s hard to believe that two years ago today, Mr. F and I were driving across the country from Chicago to Seattle. This time last year, 644558_10100757430340580_280595830_n my cousin Jessie was on rotation in Seattle!995597_10100757219039030_314307336_n We had Jessie and my sister, Janie over for New Year’s Eve! We were so good last year that we went to Yoga Nidra on New Year’s day. 1520662_655977239672_1548714077_nJanuary was filled with nice walks around the neighborhood 1508206_656042967952_1696454004_n and Discovery Park. Our college buddy, Bryce Andrews wrote his first book, Badluck Way1526571_657557552712_1892758688_nso we went to one of his book signing stops in January! 1506142_10100783934376280_45603466_o More of my awesome Wisconsin cousins came to visit when Jessie finished her rotation. My good friend and co-worker, Caroline1468498_658816719332_470768728_n joined me in Fargo in January in Fargo, where it got to a low of -20F!!! We were worried our eyelashes would freeze! 1654184_659043335192_1863254923_n Meanwhile, Seattle was in the 40s in January and sunny. 61524_659473647842_825236326_n Andy Mac met me in the O’Hare Airport at the end of January as we were both flying around the country for work! February was a fun travel month with a trip to St. Louis where my wonderful mother-in-law made me a delicious birthday cake!1902806_661433385512_926044476_nI also got to visit more great co-workers in Irvine, CA! 1604780_660850204212_476932181_n Gracielli and Marie are some of my favorite people too. 1601402_661743548942_310478977_n Mr. F made an amazing scallop dish in February. We also celebrated Andrea’s bridal shower, 1653420_661961242682_592766771_n bachelorette party and wedding! 1622613_663503726532_2136506475_n Andrea and Mike got married February 21st. I also went to Boise for work and 1924530_662263621712_1039736467_n we celebrated 1625652_662669218892_2121023546_n Rusty’s and my mom’s birthdays in February too, before Mr. F and I went to Maui for our birthday trip.1898082_663588821002_530034296_n10014680_664033519822_602566810_n Our favorite restaurant quicky became Star Noodle and we ate there 3 times in less than a week. 1979893_663488302442_1675916276_n This was one of my favorite dishes and there were so many to choose from! 1965080_663559844072_1092458705_n  1975156_664033694472_134054900_n We had so much great food and loved snorkeling with the turtles around Black Rock too. 1939973_664458732692_308636671_n 1780689_664460823502_967323827_n Our favorite Seattle restaurant last year was Dot’s.1236886_666344318962_1744619135_nWe went there a lot especially for brunch/lunch after yoga before it closed. 1176107_665453793582_1398777950_nColleen, Mr. F’s cousin and basically sister, came to visit in March and we had lots of fun shopping and wandering around Fremont.  10172696_668205294552_7658501432778008988_n We went to the Gramercy Cellars Spring Release in Sodo with Mohit in April. 10310657_671694547062_7680370796816148268_n  The last day of April was so warm that we went paddleboarding. It was an excellent start to a long and unusually sunny summer! 1901218_673378237932_3336416778003814503_n In the spring, we continued going to yoga regularly, 10390513_673541026702_6057884284796395034_n I also returned to Irvine to co-monitor with Gracielli, 10334426_673943200742_8361447631747206299_n Mr. F started swimming regularly in Puget Sound, we also went to Walrus & Carpenter. 10347542_674065775102_4818325924827903267_n For Memorial day weekend, my parents, sisters, their boyfriends, 10320994_674597025472_2244985998060748925_o my aunt and uncle, Mr. F and I went to Kauai. 10321151_674646955412_1773062862532930785_o We had amazing condos in a lush jungle on the beach. 10313955_675524975852_8720844093808432643_n The snorkeling was better in Kauai than Maui,10365789_675234433102_7602809610074534186_n perhaps because there were more remote spots and more turtles! 10300497_675235386192_826565280255475667_n In May, we met Mohit’s girlfriend who lived on a houseboat. She knows how to throw a great party but doesn’t want her picture taken!10340011_675344188152_6770236748684158827_n In May, I returned again to Irvine for work and this time, Gracielli and I went to the Pelican Hill Golf Club for dinner. The view was stunning, 10382750_675754495892_14817736305815650_n especially at sunset!10410555_675856276922_178156474173730954_n 10394489_676475151692_4967273111071597756_n We paddleboarded and swam more in May. In June, I won a Tern foldable bike and Ibex giveaway! 10452440_677652187902_7611072802403039310_n We started biking more to the beach! 10390350_679041358992_6128460681243013960_n In June, we went to the Doubleback Release party in Walla Walla with Mohit! It was held at the McQueen Vineyard overlooking Walla Walla. 10364006_680147487302_330239980466649250_n I also had a work excuse to visit Colleen in Colorado and see her new house. Shortly thereafter, I saw Beav in Boise at his parents’ new house overlooking Boise.  10521728_680834884752_8141941060453754289_nHe had just gotten out of rehab at the time. 10423982_681410880452_6497078939316640491_n The beginning of July was rainy in Seattle, but I didn’t mind because I got to go to Oahu for work and Andy Mac went with me,10443498_681892350582_9071078491796745058_n even though she was 8 months pregnant! We even had an awesome room that looked at Diamondhead! 934749_682326171202_7909462492454943292_n  In August, Mr. F and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary 1910006_682513396002_6445199734051133038_n and we went to Lummi Island1510974_685431308482_759516321463778296_n for the weekend. 10527516_685448209612_3344030789358341253_nThe water was a lot colder there!10703776_699181463062_9050385202345410200_n  One of my favorite dishes, Mr. F made this summer was a tahini chicken salad. 10624891_691237413002_7066029192570209537_n I saw Beav in Boise again in August when I was there for work. 10603447_694375569112_3483899481843900469_nOur garden10671292_696569018422_8888623800032822531_n and neighborhood had tons of sunflowers blooming this summer. In September, I had a great work excuse to visit my cousins in Milwaukee, 10703962_695077467502_4881146807386218973_ndownload plus drive down to Chicago for Kiki’s bachelorette party! We had an epic time and we went to my favorite Chicago restaurant, 10353046_696396050052_1367634967281287849_n Piccolo Sogno Due. As if September wasn’t awesome enough, I returned to Oahu for work with my co-worker, Norah10403591_695695733492_5093608330006180819_n10710875_696146999152_4742436414146267656_n and we went to an amazing yoga class together too. 10253808_696760624442_2264410213192680163_n I also went to Spokane with my co-worker, Gracielli for a problem site and we ran along the Spokane River together before work. 10653538_696569223012_7456489904495297253_n Mr. F and I swam in the Sound every chance we got and in between my travels. In late September, I returned to Chicago for work and got to see my cousin, Katy and her adorable baby. We walked through the Lurie Gardens and it was perfect. 10698499_697161580922_9007534550334073739_n In October, I flew back to Milwaukee for work and for my cousin, Kiki’s wedding. 10703734_10101067168837150_4513124236877244138_n My cousins are soo awesome. 10690025_699428258482_1486412143643332541_n1978827_701528299982_2465328052929865087_nBy the end of October, I was getting slightly travel weary and started looking for new jobs, but Mr. F and I kept our spirts up by dressing as Lana and Archer for Halloween. Mohit and his girlfriend were amazing hosts for Halloween too! 10423760_703149825432_5435644545036952438_n10676221_703161551932_7774871399834529332_nI interviewed for a new company and received an offer within 2 weeks. 1972316_702335232882_2396412918345500485_n November 12th was the first day at my new company! It’s a top 3 Contract Research Organization plus I got a promotion and a raise!!! Thanksgiving was sad 10408074_10205518199740146_7261028726146892731_n because Beav’s funeral was the weekend after but we’re trying to focus on the positive. We had friends over for New Year’s Eve 10881507_713257973622_65909644625553307_n and even though, I have a cold, we had a great time! 10421963_10102474451905368_7649709993622157084_n Happy New Year! Here’s to great memories and friends!


Christmas time with the family and friends

10802025_712113167822_7025102799591146801_nChristmas Eve was spent at my Grandparents and Uncle’s house for the White Elephant Exchange. 10625042_712113312532_8062429934124491936_nTootie is always the life of the party and is full of laughter. She even loves selfies with the family. 10806317_712114340472_6107366440520767763_n 10392278_712114325502_5763378556352072477_n   1610840_10101146729616710_750216991358699932_n Christmas morning was at my parent’s house. The tree was filled with lots of vintage ornaments and great memories. 10854489_10205718653311360_8472377558158044253_o Christmas dinner was at Urbane with the Vega-Nortons, Grime, Menard, Ketchum, Gothbergs, Talbots and Fettes. 10882349_712310811742_3356631743989912597_n It was fun affair.

Yesterday, the day after Christmas, Mr. F and I both had to work but we were able to meet old friends for yoga. I loved see my high school buddies!10882162_10101652330124253_5954432324928538530_n We had a great time at the Golden Beetle in Ballard.

Sadly, I woke up today with a cough, body aches, and super low energy. We went to yoga but decided to have a lazy afternoon and evening. So we’re enjoying Chinese food while watching the Interview.